Young guns, gender gaps, funding – OECD latest report

Despite heightened interest in entrepreneurship as a crucial element in economic recovery, startup rates in many European countries remain below pre-crisis, according to new data from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

The 120-page report sheds light on the different factors affecting startup activity, delves into the profile of the entrepreneur and presents a set of cross-country indicators to measure the state of entrepreneurship.

Another area that has taken a hit from the economic crisis? Venture capital. In 2012, the level of VC investment in most OECD countries was around 60 per cent of 2007 levels.

When it comes to gender disparities, self-employed women earned on average 35 per cent less than men across countries. Not only that, women consistently rated self-employment as being less feasible than men.

After the EU Commission launched a series of initiatives to boost entrepreneurship across the region, it should be pleased to hear that young people are, in fact, more optimistic about the possibility of setting up a business in the near future – even if the actual rate of entrepreneurship for people under the age of 25 is generally low. Interestingly, the report found that if individuals were to launch a startup, a fear of failure would be the biggest barrier.